Designers Available connects designers with non-profits and grassroots organizations to support their missions with pro bono design work.
Designers Available is a response to an urgent need to call our skills to action as a creative community. This project is intended to connect designers interested in contributing their skills in support of non-profits and community organizations actively facilitating social change through direct service, arts and culture, and grassroots politics and activism. Your donation goes directly to supporting designers from underrepresented backgrounds to collaborate with non-profits at no cost to the organization.
Designers Available is a project initiated in November 2016 by Joelle Riffle, an independent designer based in New York. She works full-time at an art and design college access program and runs an online visual journal called aslittlefear.co. The Designers Available network is made up of almost 200 designers and other creatives around the world. Contact info (at) designersavailable.com.
In 2019, Designers Available will move to a member-supported model that would allow for designers from underrepresented backgrounds working on projects with non-profits to get paid for their work at no cost to the organization. In addition to a regular offering of pro-bono projects open to the whole community, we will implement quarterly project cycles, accepting applications from both organizations and designers, in which we’ll facilitate 2-3 larger projects per cycle and offer a stipend to designers.
Let’s reframe the Designers Available network (that’s you!) as a cooperative, a community which is experimenting with a radical idea of the relationship between design and social justice, one which centers those most affected by social justice issues and believes in redistribution of resources and access.
I aim to pay designers from underrepresented backgrounds to do design work to support issues that are close to them with non-profits and grassroots organizations. In addition to supporting non-profits and grassroots organization, a mission of this work is to uplift designers of color, those from low-income and working-class backgrounds, immigrants and those with precarious immigration statuses in the US, queer, trans and gender non-conforming designers, and disabled designers. I believe that those who are most affected by the social justice issues that organizations support are uniquely positioned to address these issues.
I hope that you will consider a significant donation of $10 or $25 and to please share on your social networks. For designers with access and privilege, this is an opportunity to address issues of inequity and underrepresentation of designers from underrepresented backgrounds, as well as consider the who, how, and why of how social impact design projects are facilitated in an innovative way. Designers Available will continue to support ad-hoc pro bono design projects, shared with the network via monthly newsletter and available to any designer.
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